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09/28/2020 Burkina Faso (International Christian Concern) – On Friday September 25, jihadists attacked the village of Touldeni in Eastern Burkina Faso. These Jihadists and others like them have been causing mass devastation in Northern Burkina Faso for the past several years. More than 1,100 people have been killed since 2015 by Islamic extremist groups that have moved south from Mali.

During this attack that took place in the trading town, six members of a civilian defense force, known as the Volunteers for the Defence of the Nation (VDP), were killed by the extremists. The group was trying to clear the area after the attack, when one of their groups was ambushed by the extremists. According to the mayor of Fada N’Gourma, Jean-Claude Louari, “Unfortunately one of these teams was ambushed leading to the deaths of six of its members. One of them is missing and two are wounded.” No-one during the original attack though. The VDP and other defense groups like it were formed after the central government passed a law allowing citizens to receive 14 days of military training. After completing the training, they are then armed and allowed to defend their villages.

This law has proved disastrous on several occasions though. These defense groups have been accused on a number of occasions already of attack other villages and slaughtering innocent civilians. The groups have claimed that they were following and killing extremist supporters though. The low amount of training they receive also puts them at risk of dying in fights that they are ill prepared for. According to reports, more than 100 such civilians have been killed this year so far.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].